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Union Jack India Pale Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Union Jack India Pale AleUnion Jack India Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,284 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,284
Hads: 6,211
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 20.8%
Wants: 465
Gots: 1,374 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style | ABV
American IPA | 7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: beerguy101 on 10-09-2003

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (85) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Union Jack India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,284 | Hads: 6,211
Photo of thecheapies
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Warm orange-amber pour with an off-white head of an inch. Sudsy-looking top finally became a ring after minutes. Lots of noticeable carb. 4.0

Mango/pineapple hop aroma with pine needle notes. Sweet and fruity with a hint of floral. Opposite end of the spectrum from grassy. 4.5

Clean taste with more tropical fruit nectars and mild agave nuances. Crackery malt with some sugars amidst. A little rosewater. Nice medium bitterness lasts awhile. Soft, supple flavors with a uniquely complex hop profile. 4.5

Silky and light. Drinks great for being a beefy IPA. 4.0

A phenomenal beer even though it's not a hoppy monster. First time enjoying and well worth the wait. 4.5

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Photo of alexgash
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle.

Pours a lovely deep golden with a brassy center. Steady cm of dense, creamy, tight-bubbled, egg-shell white head. Good lacing. Very fresh hop juiciness jumps out of the glass. Pineapple, resin, pine, and tangerine. Very nice. Sugar cookie and butterscotch malt backing.

Toasted grains and hop bitterness up front. Juicy fruits and toffee malts approach sweetness before tropical fruit pineapple hop flavors signal a minty, herbal, resinous bitterness. Even some citrus in there. Finish dries out with long-lasting tongue-numbingness. Latent honey malt sweetness. Medium-bodied with a slightly sticky feel. Yum!

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Photo of WheelsPSU
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a single 12 oz bottle from City Swiggers as part of a six pack mix. As this was my first FW beer, I was very excited to finally sample something from this brewery.

It poured a light bronze with an off-white head. Almost a bit light for an IPA.

The smell was all hops, all the time. Citrus, floral, herbal, piney. Something for everyone! I appreciated the fact that this wasn't dominated by grapefruit.

The taste profile was great, a hop lovers best friend. Beside the crisp, clean hops was a backbone of malt. The only drawback was the bitterness that made me think this was a borderline DIPA.

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Photo of Act25
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Second Review 1-3-14
"Forget the British flag. This beer is Stars And Stripes Forever" A BA.

Agree! From the central coast of pinot noir and wine comes equally great beer.

A: Lighter, clearer, brighter in color than other IPAs, it sports a thick rocky cap that lasts and laces well. 4.5

S: I need to let me fresh bottle (Stamped less than 30 days ago) warm a bit. It's offering a too-subtle bouquet of more flowers and more light, sunny herbal slopes than most IPAs. Juicy. 4

T: The promise of juice is instantly fulfilled in the taste that follows the citrus, pine, grass, flowers, herbs path up the sun-soaked coastal cliffs, that happen to have a bakery nearby of cracker malts and baguettes coming out of the oven.

The finish is fresh cut, resinous pine, and more flowers. This taste is so abundant and intense it rivals the best: Sculpin and Titan. 4.5

M:Light with so much tingle it doesn't feel light. Alcohol well-hidden, it's all tingle and tickle, like a great lasting kiss with a friend.

Closes and resonates with earth, sun, spicy, natural herbs. 4.5

Totally West-Coast - up there with Sculpin. 4.5

Amazing with intense cheeses.

First review: 4-27-13
Whole Foods sells singles so you can try a great variety for a small premium. Buy as part of a set of 24 and get a 10% discount on all. Freshness on this one was a bit long: 11-16-12, poured on 4-27-13. that's 5 months bottle aging!

A: Poured into a Leffe chalice, and I'm beginning to think a big .5l glass cylinder is better for bringing out the best in these crafts. Pours a bright pale copper color, clear, with amazing lacing... all the way down the glass. Great body, great pour.

S: Piney hop, subtle California herbs and coastal trails. But not a strong waft.

T: Beautiful flavor arc. Sweet, pine/citruis, arcing to hoppy, bitter, and lightly malty. Sweetness breaks through in a perfect way. Pine hop flavor dominates mid taste, but all is lovely balance. Fruity, complexity too in the late alcohol estery finish. Great mouth feel as it exits. Great with food (Pizza, aparagus, shrimp)

M: Carbonation rises in your mouth, slowly taken over by a mid to solid body. Great finish.

O:Nicely complex and balanced with a lovely see-saw arc, the hops outweight the mildly sweet malt character. Beautifully made.

Will definitely come back. A must for hoppers. will try again after it warms...

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Photo of Preston
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A classic that deserves to be in the IPA pantheon, but I think it comes up just a bit short of other titans, including Cigar City Jai Alai, Southern Tier 2XIPA, and Smuttynose Finest Kind.

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Photo of vobr0002
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - lightly hazy yellow orange color and small white head.

S- lemon, citrus, grape fruit smell. Slight malt smell.

T- smooth hop bitterness. Very easy drinking. Dry. Lemon is there like with the smell and some background citrus.

M- lighter carbonation and body.

O- this is a very good beer. I'm glad I was sent this in my n00b bif, would love to get some more. Is one of my favorite ipas

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Photo of gshak
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this beer before, but never this fresh, bottled 2/5/2015! I've rated it a 4.25 in the past, but this time I cranked it up higher. Fresh, this beer is THE sh!t. Great balance of malt and hops, a near-perfect mouthfeel, and the beer brings out the very essence of Centennial hops. Sweet orange marmalade, piney and citrus fruits on the nose and on the taste, with faint traces of tropical fruits in the background. Well done FW, well done!

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Photo of Ahypercube
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great IPA here, brought me out for another review. Bought a sixer, since I wanted to try, and was pleasantly surprised.

L: Nice bottle, don't know why it never caught my eye before, but the packaging is rather beautiful. Poured into a sniffer with a clear, very orange amber color with an almost two-finger head that lasts pretty well. Lacing sure hangs on tight.

S: God, can I drink this smell? Delicious. Clean, sour-bitter hop character, like there are dried citrus peels just sitting in the sniffer (so clean it almost smells sharp or metallic, like a knife blade) mango (which smells amazing), a little bit of blackberry and maybe blueberry, and just a hint of soft doughy breadiness underneath the fruit. If this were a candle, I'd buy it on the spot.

T: As always, the taste is everything the smell is but, unfortunately, more. Still very soft, but the grapefruit in particular as well as the funkiness of the bready malts, becomes much more pronounced. It appears they may have used a Belgian yeast strain? It has that particular spicy, tangy funkiness that Stone's Cali-Belgique has. If it is, however, it's certainly the best Belgian IPA I've had yet, by far.

F: Awesome: feels clean, just like the smell, not oily, but very smooth. Sticky, with a glasslike feel. Enjoyable, gently, but thoroughly carbonated, and fulfilling.

O: A great brew. Reminds me of a better Ranger IPA, honestly (with a whole percent ABV increase as well!) or of SN's Torpedo IPA with less maltyness. Definitely up there with Bell's Two-Hearted Ale and the other great IPA's!

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Photo of rarigney
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful reddish golden, crystal clear beer with a moderate amount of head. Fruity and floral aromas. Moderate bitterness with nice carbonation. Probably one of my top three or four IPAs.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Clear golden yellow with two-finger, white, foamy, creamy head that lasted a long time. Fantastic lacing.

S: Citrus and pine hops.

T: Moderate sweetness and solid hop bitterness. Fresh citrus hops, orange, pine.

M: Medium bodied with lively carbonation. Smooth and warm going down.

O: I really like Double Jack, so I was excited to give this a try. Was not let down. Great IPA.

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Photo of Zeplover2010
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice IPA. Doesn't really smack you like some other IPAs with similar ABV's. Had on tap in 1/2 liter mug. Good colour, nice white head leaving lace as it works down glass.Recommend - especially for those who dislike sharp hoppy aftertaste from IPAs.

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Photo of tjwarren
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From a can dated 4/28. Nice looking beer, smells very fresh but not overly aromatic - just doesn't jump out at you. The taste is pretty much perfect if anything too well balanced just because nothing jumps out at you. The feel is the best part of the beer. Perfect body and carbonation, a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, Sam Adams glass, bottled on date of 5/21/10.

This is a fine looking IPA. The body is deep copper even in the thin base of the Sam Adams glass and the soapy sudsy eggshell head has already left a nice ring of lace.

Aromas jump out of the bottle at you, an assurance that this beer will live up to the buzz. The smell leans towards the pine, mango, and weed side of the hop world. I immediately found peach as well, and some grapefruit deeper in. I may already agree that this is one of the finest and most under the radar American IPAs. Malt is apparent but so is its west coast dryness.

The flavor is about as impressive as the aroma. A hefty bitterness is accompanied by more of a grapefruit profile. This isn't to say that the pine isn't backing that grapefruit pith up real well and that I don't taste orange, peach, mango, papaya, and alcohol.

This is a dry IPA, I prefer them that way. The balance between some body, some carbonation, and alcohol/level of dryness is quite good.

I am so glad that Union Jack has lived up to my personal expectations. I think that I focus slightly more on aroma with IPA/DIPAs and this beer delivers. The 7.5% ABV is in the upper range for the style but doesn't really hurt drinkability because the aroma and flavor are so damn good. Take you time and enjoy it. You'll get your hop fix.

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Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a can into a pint glass. Canned on 4/24/15, so it's a little over four months old. Hopefully some of the hop flavors have still held up. With that in mind, I'll review this beer with a grain of salt and re-review if I can find it fresher.

LOOK: Slightly hazy golden orange with steady bubble streams and a finger and a half of creamy white head. Looks delicious.

SMELL: Yes! I can still smell hops. Actually, even for its age this smells delicious. Orange peel and toasted caramel maltiness meets sweet apricot, peach, and pineapple aromas. Yum!

TASTE: Very nice. A nice balance of citrus and tropical fruits with a steady but never overpowering malt backbone. Imagine a mix of Bell's Two Hearted Ale and Sculpin. That's how this tastes. Tangerine and grapefruit juice upfront, toasted malt and caramel in the middle, followed by apricot, mango, peach, and pineapple, and then finishes with grapefruit pith, bitter pineapple, and light pine. Sweet and juicy, balanced with just enough bitterness. I would kill to get this fresh!

FEEL: Medium, approaching full. Nicely carbonated. Slightly creamy. Super drinkable. Dry on the finish. Refreshing.

OVERALL: Wow. Just wow. This is how I like an IPA, and this isn't even fresh! New favorite IPA...?

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Photo of Treyliff
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #250

A- pours a bright and crystal clear golden-orange color with a thick and creamy white two-finger head, great retention and lacing that goes all the way down the glass.

S- sharp and pungent citrus hop with huge grapefruit notes. Undertones of biscuity malt.

T- heavy hops up front bring notes of grapefruit with some tropical papaya. A few pine notes, biscuity malt profile underlies but lets the hops take center stage, a bit of caramel. The finish is somewhat dry with a citrus hop linger.

M- medium, almost full bodied, moderate carbonation, creamy mouthfeel with a velvety smooth finish. Alcohol is impressively hidden, nearly perfect.

O- this is just a solid IPA, plain and simple, you would never know it was 7.5 ABV. I'm a fan of citrus forward ipa's and this one doesn't dissapoint.

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Photo of unHipHopHead
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a honey/copper color with a nice one finger head.

S: Nice sweet grapefruit aroma, floral and citrus.

T: Nice and crisp, full bodied with a great hop kick and a long lasting lingering hop aftertaste. There is a nice malt backbone that rounds this beer out but it doesn't get it the way of the delicious hops.

M: coats the mouth nicely. moderate carbonation to make the hops sparkle.

D: at 7.5% one bomber of this guy and you'll be set... for a while.

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Photo of FFreak
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a two month-old 12 oz bottle into a willi glass. It's a clear gold with slight orange color and a one finger tight head and minimal lacing. Beautiful floral and citrus notes on the aroma with just a touch of dank. Taste is of citrus, particularly orange, and malty sweetness, followed by a hint of dank. Mouth is perfect for the style. Overall, this is a great IPA. I wish I could get it easier where I'm at.

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Photo of blackcompg
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from their 12oz bottle...

Appearance - Pours a finger of eggshell head, body is a translucent golden straw, left some very nice wide webbed lacing after the session.

Smell - Pungent fresh greeen hops, citrus smells of grapefruit, and under-ripe pineapple.

Taste - Wow, really bright citrus, pineapple and a touch of tropical. These are balanced so nicely and quite complex, and there is a perfect balancing sweetness that seems to come naturally from the citrus, vs. a candy or carmel flavor. The finish is citrus zest and pith, with tiny pockets of fruit sweetness in the mouth corners. Really tasty!

Mouthfeel - Almost medium, very smooth, so drinkable, carb is nearly medium but absolutely smooth, no edges. Really perfect for this style.

Overall - What a delicious and great IPA - this would be a mainstay in my fridge if it were more readily available in my area. A must try - really wish I had a few more of these!

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Photo of jboib82
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The floral scent punches you in the nose as soon as you complete the pour, which results in a pleasant amber color with a tiny little head. Normally I'd be disappointed but the lack of foam actually accentuates the pretty color, and there's great lacing. Tastes of citrus and grapefruit and the bitterness characteristic of the style, but balanced nicely by a nice infusion of beta acids. Medium body with average carbonation which works because any more would detract from the great flavor combination. I found it highly drinkable because of its balance compared to other interpretations of the style. Hopheads might object to the relative lack of aggressive hopping, but I for one loved the change in a world of increasingly powerful IPAs.

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Photo of mrchrisray
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

a) copper color, redish yellow. good head at first with medium retention. pretty bubbly and inviting looking

s) smells like hops, strong, some pine scents

t) strong bite of hops up front but very balanced with the malt and super smooth finish. i can't taste the 7.5% alcohol either

m) kinda doughy in the mouth and definitely bubbly

o) a great beer. i was expecting more of a hoppy taste, but i'm not let down at all. it is hoppy and super well balanced so all the flavors blend very well together.

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Photo of Tuck_leepulin
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz Brown bottle with pry-off cap and bottled on date of 04/10/2014 poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a clear, light copper 1 and 1/2 finger of head; perfect in my opinion as far as appearance in an American IPA

Smell: Citrus hops and pine notes

Taste: Complex hop profile that has a balance between citrus grapefruit notes and piney earthy tones

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation and finishes dry

Overall: Sadly I did not see the bottled on date until after my purchase. I was worried, but this has held up really well and it is nothing short on hop flavor. This is a solid example of a west-coast style IPA. Im glad to see that it hasn't dropped off after a few months. Hopefully I can get my hands on some really fresh bottles in the near future.

UPDATE: Enjoying a Union jack from a can canned on 02/27/15 poured into a tulip glass.


Far superior than the last time I reviewed this. This is how I remember it was when I first had this on draft over a year ago. So much brighter in character than the 4 month old bottle. Fantastic IPA.

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Photo of nickfl
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with one finger of white foam on top of a Ightly hazy golden body. The head settles fairly quickly and leaves moderate lace.

S - A nice, hoppy aroma of pine and grapefruit with some toffee and thick malt in the background.

T - Bready malt up front with some pine and grapefruit. More pungent hops in the middle and a bit of sweaty onion character in the middle. Finishes with fairly strong bitterness, thick malt and more pungent pine and citrus hops.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a balanced finish.

D - A very well made ipa. Great hop character and a thicker than aveage malt character that, despite it's intensity, doesn't get in the way of the hops.

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Photo of williamjbauer
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bomber served in a pint glass

A - Slightly hazy golden amber with 2 finger off white head with good retention and excellent lacy. Head is fluffy and lace clings tightly along the whole glass.

S - A lot of grapefruit hoppy notes with a touch of toasted malts and some other citrus lemon and orange.

T - Taste is dominated by the citrus hops from beginning to end but the bouquet is quite nice with a bit of floral hops as well. The bready sweet malt comes next and it light and sweet. A bit more biscuity notes and then a touch of smooth bitterness with very present but well balanced alcohol throughout.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, chewy start with a nice smooth finish.

O - Very well balanced beer and I would drink this anytime. Went pretty well with gouda cheese and cracker to cleanse the palate between drinks. Pretty malty for an IPA and almost a Imperial IPA as far as the EtOH and bitterness allow.

2-19-13 upgrading this brew after having it on tap at House of 1000 beers in PA and getting a growler to share with friends. The floral notes are great and the alcohol is subtle.

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Photo of dacrza1
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

DATE TASTED: August 2, 2015 ... GLASSWARE: Barley Creek pint... OCCASION: watching Naked and Afraid XL... APPEARANCE: quintessential golden amber body with a scarcity of effervescence--surprising...not surprisingly, the head is creamy, thick, white as snow and lacing beautifully as it eases its way to the body ... AROMA: the grapefruit rocks the nostrils; spruce, coconut, fresh biscuit and perfurmed flowers give this beer a tremendously varied profile...the draw alone is an experience ...PALATE: alive with carbonation, with a sizzling finish from teeth to throat that streaks and holds ...TASTE: as promised, grapefruit overloads the senses and dominates the other citrus fruits vying for attention; melon and lemon are detectable; the resinous pinecone is undeniable late; the malt base counters the hops deluge and dams the intensity with biscuit... OVERALL: just another in the long line of West Coast IPAs that could be a ritual with me if I were married to the idea of one style; the flavor crushes the experience through an intense wall of hops...at 7.5 ABV, a perfect balance of strength and sipability...

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Photo of jj139
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Copper with an one finger beige head. Long lasting lacing

S - Lots going on in here: Citrus, grapefruit, pine, resin, with hints of toasted malt.

T - Citrus up front which blends into some appealing malt. A slight hop bitterness towards the back with a refreshing finish.

M - Medium carbonation and body. Full flavor but very balanced.

O - I really enjoy this very drinkable beer. Everything from the different types of malts to just enough hops is in perfect balance. This beer is one of my regular go to brews.
Really looking forward to picking up some more.

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Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,284 ratings.